Election 2018 – Candidate Profiles

Our nomination period has finished and voting will open shortly (emails will be sent to all current members eligible to vote) and in the meantime, you can peruse your options below, consisting of the nominee name and pitch, sorted in alphabetical order:
(Edit 16/10/18: Voting is live until midday on Monday 5th November – all members, please check the email you registered to Farset Labs with for your ballot.)

Artemiy Kondratiev (Art)

What is a hackerspace?

Scattered around the world each one is unique and means something different to each individual member.

In the autumn of 2015, I first visited Farset Labs and the very same week was my first as a member. It has been almost three years, yet I still find it hard to describe Farset. What about you?

One thing I know is that I have been to no other place like it. A place where anyone is welcome to experiment, teach, share ideas, unjustifiably set things on fire, watch opera and everything in between.

In Farset I met many people that I am glad to call friends. It is because of you that I discovered so many ideas and had the opportunity to realise new-found aspirations.

In Farset I met people with whom I share the principles of unbiased exchange of ideas and knowledge. Together we echo the same principles to our local communities in the form of clubs, meetups and mentorship of those on earlier stages of similar paths.

Each year I try to make a snowballing contribution to my community through building upon the experiences of years past.

– Helping at charity shops taught me the value of investing time
– Helping at Coder Dojo, Raspberry JAM and volunteering at events taught me the value of inspiring future successors
– Organizing my own kids’ coding club with Code Club taught me the value of reaching out to communities outside our own
– Co-Organizing Code Co-Op and designing programming challenges taught me the value of peership and collaboration
– Co-Organizing NIDevConf18 taught me the value of bringing together people with differing perspectives
– Most importantly, joining Farset Labs taught me the value of community

Over the years of I have been delighted by the impact of these actions and privileged to have responsibility over them.

As a director, my goal would be simple – keep alive the light of our energetic environment and preserve the welcoming community I encountered three years ago. The areas I will invest most of my time in are:

– introducing a wider community of active individuals to our hackerspace
– providing opportunities to up and coming members of our community
– ensuring that the space remains genuinely useful to our evolving community
– lighten the burden of maintenance to allow more room for efforts in growth
– keep our management practices in touch with the community’s sentiments and beliefs

Our local community is bustling with life and activity – let’s show them what a hackerspace can be.


Andy Sheppard

Hello there! My name is Andy. I’m one of the founding members of Farset Labs, and I’m finally here to pitch in my nomination for directorship. My main reason is that I love Farset, and really want to see it grow. I have experience in leadership, and management and all those other boring things, but I also just really love to help people.

If you’ve ever spoken to me, you probably already know that, but maybe not! I do tend to ramble. In fact I’m rambling right now.

As I said, I just want to see the place grow, and thrive, and I feel that I’d be a good person to see that happen. Once I have something planned, I do my damned best to make sure that happens!

If you haven’t spoken to me before, I’d encourage you to do so! I love to hear stories of people’s experiences, and I also just really love to talk to people. But sure, let me know!

Much love, and all the best, 

Andy S


RON

Vote to reopen nominations if you are unsatisfied with the candidates offered and wish to have the nomination period reopened to new candidates. 


Withdrawn: Zoe Gadon-Thompson (01/10/18)


If you have any queries or comments, please contact the returning officer, David Kane, at david@farsetlabs.org.uk. Alternatively, if you would prefer to speak to the whole director team, please email admin@farsetlabs.org.uk.

Elections 2018

Farset Labs is run by a dedicated team of volunteers, starting with the original three Directors back in late 2011/early 2012. We aim to try and keep the number of directors at five, and given that we’re currently below that magic prime number, it’s time to launch our 2018 Director Elections. Nominations for Directorship will open from the timestamp of this post until midnight on Friday 28th September.

The Directors of Farset Labs are the individuals expected to set the strategic direction of the charity, and have overall responsibility for maintaining the financial and legal health of the company. You will be expected to join the weekly management meetings and contribute in myriad other ways to the day-to-day running of the space; for example, fielding emails, authorising outgoing payments, and meeting with relevant parties, to name but a few.

You also get to steward a charity that does extensive youth outreach, makes opportunities available for the whole community, and hosts events that benefit all areas of the technology sector. We’re always trying to expand the remit of our offerings to serve even more people and it would be ideal for the incoming Director to aid in those efforts.

Nominees must:

  • Nominate themselves.
  • Have been a member for at least three months (not necessarily in one block).
  • Email david@farsetlabs.org.uk (and CC admin@farsetlabs.org.uk) with
    • Their name.
    • Their ‘pitch’ which is 1000 characters maximum. (Suitability for role, experience, intentions etc.)
  • Be aware that, if successful in the elections, they must not have any convictions that would prevent them from being the Director of a limited company (i.e. convictions under the Fraud Act 2006) or any convictions regarding sexual offences against minors (i.e. convictions under the Sexual Offences Act 2003).
  • Be aware that they have legal obligations as a Director of Farset Labs, including their legal liabilities to HMRC etc.
  • Be aware that, if successful, they will be required to provide details including their legal name, sex, date of birth, addresses lived in the last three years, signature and National Insurance Number for the purposes of registration with Companies House.

Voting will open when the nominee profiles (consisting of the nominee’s name and pitch) are posted publicly on Monday 1st October (Conveniently coinciding with the next Town Hall) and will close at midday on Monday 15th October.
Information on how to vote and the procedures surrounding voting, including the case of a draw, will be posted along with the nominee profiles. The results, barring any special circumstances, will be announced as soon as possible after voting closes, likely the following day.
Any questions can be directed to either david@farsetlabs.org.uk or info@farsetlabs.org.uk. You may also find it useful to review the records of previous elections, available on this blog.
Good luck!

A packed week ahead: ELI5, Christmas Party and Workshop Clearing

December is nearly upon us and with it comes a raft of Farset events! What better way to christen our new and improved Event Space?

Kicking off the month, we have our regular casual talk series, Explain it Like I’m 5, where some great speakers break down a concept they have experience with and present it in seven minutes. We’ve had everything from baking to plasma physics in the past and we welcome talks from the floor on the night.

Join us on Thursday 1st December at 1800 for some truly entertaining talks, plus a Japanese buffet and plenty of time to chat with other attendees. Read more here.

Next up, we have the annual Farset Christmas Party in the form of a pot-luck dinner. Culinary hacks are encouraged and the event is open to all. Bring something edible and bring a friend, but please don’t bring an edible friend – that’d be against the law and not much fun for the friend. Party poppers, retro console gaming and festive treats await!

The Christmas party kicks off at 1900 on Friday 2nd December and you can get more details here.  Do let us know you’re coming via Facebook.

Finally, the management team have been toiling hard (as always!) to improve the Labs and, having been working extensively on sprucing up the Event Space, we’re now turning our attention to the Workshop. As discussed on Slack, the Workshop Clearout will be taking place this weekend (Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th December). Any help is appreciated.

Member equipment that is in member project boxes will, of course, remain untouched, as will any clearly labelled equipment as per the member handbook. If you have left any kit in a position that may have, shall we say, not quite complied with the rules, please give us a shout on info@farsetlabs.org.uk to make sure we know about it and that it’s not disposed of. Any queries, as always, can also be directed to that address.

We’ll be relocating a few pieces of equipment to more suitable homes within the workshop and this should make using the space a lot easier for all. Naturally, this means that the workshop can’t be used for any member projects during the clear-out and we apologise for the disruption.

If you want to see what’s planned (particularly disposal of equipment believed to be communal and unwanted), check out the barebones plan available here.

(The rather lovely featured image is by Kevin Dooley.)

ELI5

You learn something new everyday, usually without trying. Maybe you find a shortcut to a friend’s house, maybe a trick on the computer or maybe you realise that Thermos of tea in the car was a really bad idea. But what if you could get an overview of weird and wonderful topics from folks who know the ins and outs of them really well?

“Explain Like I’m 5” is our collaborative speaker series, where local developers, technologists, entrepreneurs, artists, performers, scientists, and business people take a concept that may be highly specific to their area of expertise or work, and break it down to a lay audience from right across the STEAM spectrum with a minimal expectation of prior knowledge.

This event is sponsored by the very lovely folks from BCS Belfast Branch!

The Audience:

The target audience is anyone and everyone who loves learning and expanding their horizons. No topic is off limits as long as you are confident that it can be delivered to a lay audience within the constraints of the format.

The event is in two parts; an invited and a free-for-all section, separated by an intermission with drinks and a selection of Japanese food (just to shake things up!). There will be ample time to have a chat with all the other good folks who come down.

The Rules:

The rules for both groups are the same:

  • Speakers have a maximum of 7 minutes to speak on the subject of their choice, followed by a short open Q&A.
  • No Slides! The use of Non-Projected Visual Aids is heavily encouraged, and projectors may be considered for live demonstrations. The blackboard is your friend.
  • Before the event starts and during the break, presenters (invited or unplanned) are asked to put a 3-5 word synopsis of their topic on the blackboard along with their name.
  • The Compère will decide what order presentations will be done, so be nice to him/her!

If you’ve got something you’d like to share to the audience, email events@farsetlabs.org.uk to discuss it with the subject line “ELI5”. Submissions are also more than welcome on the night!

(Featured image from XKCD)

Election 2016 (v1.0) Ballot

Our nomination period is up and voting will open shortly (emails will be sent to all current members eligible to vote) and in the meantime, you can peruse your options below, consisting of the nominee name and pitch:

1. Colin Mitchell

My involvement with Farset Labs started when it was a dark glint in Bolster’s evil eye. I say ‘involvement’ – it was really just supportive conversations, but once established this quickly turned into an obligation to join, and a membership fee has been ripped bodily from my strained bank account ever since.

However, it’s not all bad…

Some of the things I love about Farset Labs:

  • The slight tendency towards anarchy
  • The attempts at real democracy
  • The diversity of people + their abilities
  • The sense of community and random connections
  • The stuff all over the place
  • All the code ‘n shit with the young people ‘n all

I love the sense of ‘if it ain’t broke, break it’ – (though not Robin Prices’s lighting-up ping-pong table, nor Matt Hazley’s beer-making kit, ‘cos the phrase ‘don’t break stuff that makes beer’ should need no explanation)

Currently I’m CTO/co-founder of Sixty-5 Technologies – Farset’s co-working space was where we spent a lot of last year. Bolster was instrumental in John Arrell & I getting together, David Kane helped with initial specs, Robin Price worked on our Gateway box, Mal Duffin seriously improved our UI, Art Knipe straightened up our API – all invaluable & there’s nowhere else in NI where that could happen.

As well as techie stuff I’ve done sales & marketing, management & director stuff – so I can bring wide experience with an anarchic twist.

Right now I’m doing a lot of coding (at 57, I know, God help us) – most of the Sixty-5 Android code & some of the Ruby on Rails cloud stuff is mine. Also devops stuff with servers and all that kind of thing. I love all the hands-on stuff.

So, for Farset, as well as sharing the organisational burden with the others, there are a bunch of things that interest me:

Connectivity between the diverse membership and the wider community – both social and industrial. There’s all sorts of interesting stuff that Farset members could be part of, if it interests them. Let’s find more of these things.

Learning – there are so many different ways to get engaged in tech & to learn without going through the established education routes (with their gatekeepers). Some of that Farset is already doing well. I love the idea of someone coming through Farset from no tech knowledge to paid work. Or just for fun.

Farset has a lot of potential to act as an incubator for early stage startups – there’s already a bunch of that happening right now (Sixty-5 is but one example)

Diversity – I love diversity & inclusion. We can extend what we already have.

I love people poking at projects – how can we do more of this?

I love the idea that in years to come, world-changing stuff or people might have had their roots in Farset. That would be something.

For a tiny bit more on me, visit

www.crmitchell.co.uk


2. RON

chicken-cute-eat-food-harry-potter-Favim.com-136639_large

ReOpen Nominations

Ron does nothing, and means we open up nominations again.


The Directors assert that this election, odd as it is, satisfy the Director Appointment Rules as set up in the Operations Manual and ratified by Town Hall Consent from March 2014.